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3.5% economic growth possible with GOP tax cuts


The House Republican tax reform bill that’s being unveiled on Thursday morning could boost long-term economic growth above the Trump administration’s goal, said retiring Rep. Jeb Hensarling.

President Donald Trump, while talking about growth as high as 4 percent on the campaign trail, has been focusing lately on sustained gross domestic product advances of 3 percent.

Hensarling, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Thursday he believes the votes will be there to pass the GOP package of tax cuts for American workers and corporations.

“What I would encourage my colleagues to look at … the difference between 3 and 3.2 [percent] economic growth versus 1.5 to 2 percent economic growth under the Obama plan,” the Texas Republican said ahead of the unveiling of the tax plan.

“We are now finally, finally after a decade, seeing wages rise for working people. And right now under President Trump, we’ve had two quarters of 3 percent economic growth, and that’s even without this plan,” Hensarling said. “I think we’re capable of maybe 3.5 percent economic growth. That’s going to be make a huge difference to everybody.”

However, many Democrats, including former Obama Treasury Jack Lew, believe the economy is not capable long-term growth of even 3 percent.

On CNBC Wednesday, Lew predicted sustained GDP growth “north” of 2 percent.

“We have demographic issues that are just a constraint that anyone would face right now,” he said, warning that denying such factors “could lead you to make big mistakes.”

One of those mistakes would be to implement the approach to tax reform that Republican leaders advocate, Lew said, arguing the U.S. can’t afford it.

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